Gummer's reforms would lead to green belt harm

One reader wonders whether John Gummer is fully aware of the implications of relaxing curtilage of dwellings policy

John Gummer (Planning, 4 November, p16) advocates the abolition of the law that requires permission for extending the curtilage of dwellings into an adjoining field.

This reinforces the view that politicians are generally ignorant of the purpose of the planning system.

I am a firm believer in freedom, but there is a need to balance rights and environmental stewardship. The present system, though imperfect, achieves this. Does Gummer not realise his views spell disaster?

The essence of such control is to prevent permitted development rights for dwellinghouses extending to the adjoining green fields. If, as he wishes, there were to be no law protecting the adjoining fields, vast areas of land would in time be cluttered with sheds, annexes, garages and other urbanising features benefiting from permitted development rights. Dare I say that these would diminish the openness of green belts and the countryside. I do not need to spell out the consequences.

Olawale Duyile, Milton Keynes

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